Graffiti Paint Out Gets Mixed Reviews

March 3, 2011 by Julie Montanaro

Paint was flying today in the name of cutting crime and boosting business in the capital city.

The target of it all? Graffiti.

These Tallahassee Police Officers came armed with rollers and buckets of white paint ... wiping out in a matter of minutes what may have taken taggers with spray cans much longer.

"When we allow this, you're pretty much letting people know you don't care and this just lets crime come in," said Major Lewis Johnson as he poured the paint.

Teams spread out Thursday to try to "white out" graffitti at nearly 60 spots across the city. We caught up with this team off All Saints Street.

A man who rents space for a local shriners club was pleasantly surprised to see them.

"I think anything we can do to improve the beauty of the neighborhood is a good point," said Dr. Otis Kirksey. "Small things matter."

Some might see this and wonder if officers don't have more important things to do, but they say graffitti can affect the bottom line for an entire neighborhood in terms of crime and money.

"When tourists and visitors come to the capital city, if they see buildings with graffiti all over town, they see broken windows, they see dialpidated structures, then they won't want to come to Tallahassee," said CAPT Glenn Sapp as he wielded a paint roller on the side of a building.

"I think they're covering up art," said Andrew McLean as he sipped coffee at a shop on Railroad Avenue.

Word of the "paint out" spread through coffee shops, sandwich shops and barber shops. Some were downright disappointed, saying graffitti only adds to the character of this neighborhood.

"This is the arts community of Tallahassee. This is where the artists live, have their studios back there in Railroad Square and we should embrace that," McLean said.

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  • by Nothing to see here on Mar 4, 2011 at 06:17 AM
    As far as art goes, if there is a building owner that wants actual grafiti art painted on their bulding so be it. It can look good. But the thugs tagging other peoples' property for whatever fame or high it brings them cost these property owners money. How much does it cost to repaint a building and then just have it re-tagged two nights later? How much money does it cost tax payer to pay cops to paint over this? How much does the paint cost to cover up the tagging on city owned property? And really, when it comes down to it, the splotches of mismatched paint don't look much better and still shows every resident and visitor to these areas what is really going on in our fair community. It doesn't really hide anything - except the gloating the pukes can do when showing their homies how bad they are by pointing out their names painted somewhere.
  • by ? Answered on Mar 4, 2011 at 06:06 AM
    As I drive through the downtown area, I always wondered why the members of the nearby communities want to blight (at an ever increasing rate)their own communities with nicknames and gang affiliations spray painted everywhere. Now I get it. IT IS ART.
  • by GhostBusters Location: Tally on Mar 4, 2011 at 05:52 AM
    Another example where the City creates fake saftey traps by camaflouging where THUGS hide in wait to mug us. Let Graffiti stay to warn potential victims so we can decide to take a safer route. When you put lip stick on a pig, it is still a pig. TPD needs to spend our taxpayer money on more serious crime.
  • by SHANER on Mar 4, 2011 at 05:20 AM
    Andrew, go home and paint "art" on your own house! (I doubt you are from here!)
  • by Bill Location: Tallahassee on Mar 3, 2011 at 07:19 PM
    This "art" and I use the term with the most generous use, is nothing but a sure sight that thugs have been there. I would suggest the cops tag the taggers with their glocks.
  • by Emo Shaker Location: FSU on Mar 3, 2011 at 06:43 PM
    You people have destroyed art. This spray paint helps us hippies move Tallahassee one step closer to anarchy!
  • by Sara Location: Tallahassee on Mar 3, 2011 at 06:39 PM
    Keep your "Art" on your own property, not property owned by someone else! Graffiti on someone else's property is crime partner!
  • by wdyoung Location: Tallahassee on Mar 3, 2011 at 05:20 PM
    Andrew, you're an idiot. Art is something you create in your own space.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 3, 2011 at 04:40 PM
    No wonder I was able to run all those red lights today where there are no cameras, the fuzz was busy playing finger painting. In all seriousness, we have inmates that could have done that labor, we have community service people who could paint every other weekend instead of picking up trash. How about the city crews that pull weeds in the ridiculous median flower beds? but dang, cops need to serve by making the roads safer and preventing taggers from taggin the walls.
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